Osan and Kunsan air bases joined forces for the show of airpower, lining up on the runway F-16s, A-10s, U-2s and C-12s belonging to the items completely forward-deployed in South Korea.
The Pacific Air Forces’ seventh Air Drive staged a big plane era coaching occasion at Osan Air Base with the participation of all of the subordinate items from Osan and Kunsan air bases, the place the 51st and eighth Air Wings are based mostly. The “Mammoth Stroll”, because the images’ captions referred to as it, occurred on Could 5, 2023, but it surely was only disclosed few days ago.
The images of the occasion on the runway present 53 plane, which embody two U-2 Dragon Ladys of the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron, three C-12 Hurons of the 2nd Fight Aviation Brigade, 12 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs of the twenty fifth Fighter Squadron and 36 F-16 Combating Falcons of the thirty fifth, thirty sixth, and eightieth Fighter Squadrons. Whereas the fifth RS (a part of the ninth Reconnaissance Wing) and the U.S. Military’s 2nd CAB aren’t subordinate unit of the seventh AF, they’re stationed at Osan AB and joined the occasion as they’re integral a part of the aviation actions in Korea.
All of the plane proven within the images are armed with reside weapons, exhibiting completely different configuration of loadouts with AIM-9 and AIM-120 air-to-air missiles, AGM-65 air-to-ground missiles and AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles, and GBU-38, GBU-54, GBU-31(V)1 (commonplace Mk-84 physique) and GBU-31(V)3 (BLU-109 penetrator physique) JDAM bombs. Some F-16s had been additionally seen geared up with the HARM Concentrating on System pod, a uncommon incidence for Block 40 Vipers, but it surely permits them to perform SEAD missions just like the Block 50 aircraft which are normally assigned this mission set.
The transient press assertion launched by the seventh AF says the large aircraft generation training event demonstrated the wings’ speedy era capabilities and response readiness. “The mixed potential of seventh Air Drive and our associate items at Osan Air Base to generate fight airpower at a second’s discover affirm that our dedication to the Republic of Korea stays ironclad and guarantee regional stability all through the Indo-Pacific,” continued the captions.
Whereas not specified, it’s doable the “Mammoth Stroll” (which was usually called an Elephant Walk in different events) was one of the events of Exercise Beverly Midnight 23-1, which was hosted by Osan AB from Could 4 to 12, 2023. The train is likely one of the yearly coaching occasions of the eighth FW, which permits the unit to “preserve the extent of readiness required to perform the ‘Struggle Tonight’ mission and are a chance to apply contingency response, consider efficiency and sharpen essential expertise.”
Since April 1, 2023, the eighth FW is deployed to Osan AB, as Kunsan’s runway is closed for repairs till August. The transfer enabled many side-by-side coaching alternatives between the 51st and eighth FWs, together with Beverly Midnight 23-1, permitting F-16s from Kunsan’s thirty fifth and eightieth Fighter Squadrons to conduct sorties alongside F-16s and A-10s from the Osan’s 25th and 36th Fighter Squadrons.